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2010 Winter Olympic champion sells gold medal

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Aerials skier Aleksei Grishin, the first Belarusian to win a Winter Olympic title, consigned both his Vancouver 2010 gold medal and Salt Lake City 2002 bronze medal to be sold, according to the auction company listing the items.

The medals are listed here and here. Grishin later said he’s selling them to pay for a friend’s medical treatment, according to Belarusian media.

Grishin, now 40, overtook American Jeret “Speedy” Peterson and his Hurricane jump for gold at the Vancouver Winter Games. Peterson committed suicide 16 months later after struggles with alcohol and depression and previous suicide attempts.

Grishin was put on a stamp, given 16,000 square feet to build a home and was Belarus’ flag bearer at the next Olympic Opening Ceremony. Between Vancouver and Sochi, Grishin’s medal was displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Belarusian Statehood in Minsk.

“It had been placed in temporary custody and now, according to the contract, Aleksei got it back,” a museum staffer emailed Wednesday when asked if the museum knew that the medal was being sold. “And, of course, he’s aware of the situation.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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Ted Ligety scales back race schedule

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Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety is scaling back his race schedule as he enters the final portion of his decorated Alpine skiing career.

Ligety, a 34-year-old who has endured many injuries since his last World Cup win in 2015, said he will race strictly giant slaloms this year. The World Cup season starts in late October.

“So it’ll be a little bit easier schedule on my body,” Ligety said in a KPCW radio interview in his native Park City, Utah. “I’ll be able to be home a little bit more as well, and then we see. I mean, I would like to keep going as long as I feel like I can win races and feel healthy. That’s really the biggest part, and nowadays I have a 2-year-old son, and there’s more factors than there was when I was 25 years old.”

Ligety, nicknamed “Mr. GS” for his giant slalom prowess, has a 2014 Olympic gold medal and three world titles in that event.

He also owns an Olympic combined title from 2006 and world titles in the super-G and combined from 2013, but he hasn’t won a race in one of those disciplines since January 2014. And since then, he has undergone back and knee surgeries and dealt with hip problems.

“There’s a lot of hard miles on my body up to this point, but I’m still enjoying it,” said Ligety, whose 321 World Cup starts are the most among active Olympic medalists now that Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Lund Svindal have retired. “Right now, I feel really healthy and trying to get to a point where I feel I can win races. That’s the goal right now.”

Ligety, a four-time Olympian, has not publicly committed to a 2022 Olympic run.

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Adam Rippon takes a lap in Indy car

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Adam Rippon can compare Olympic figure skating and riding in an Indy car in this way: Both experiences made him want to throw up.

Rippon sat in the backseat of fellow “Dancing with the Stars” winner Helio Castroneves‘ two-seater while at a Toronto IndyCar stop on Sunday.

“I definitely feel like my nuts are in my stomach,” Rippon said in an NBCSN interview while riding. “This is a little bit like how I drive to the grocery store. A little bit more intense, but Helio is killing it.”

Rippon, 29, retired from figure skating after placing 10th in his Olympic debut in PyeongChang, where he also earned a team-event bronze medal.

He has since done a bevy of appearances, including on “Will & Grace,” in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue and as part of a Taylor Swift music video.

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